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ProtonVPN Review in 2021 – Is It Really Free?

protonvpn review

This comprehensive ProtonVPN Review will tell you everything you need to know about the service and whether it is right for you.

We will include important factors such as ProtonVPN Free features, price, device compatibility, and much more.

How does ProtonVPN compare to our top recommended VPN which is currently IPVanish?  We explain in this review.

Legal Notice: TROYPOINT will not be held liable for data breaches, infected/hacked devices, or ISP logging caused by using unverified 3rd party applications, IPTV Services, addons, or streaming websites.


Proton is one of the most well-known VPN providers available.

One of the main reasons ProtonVPN has gained traction is because of their Free Version users can install on various devices.

We will focus mainly on their free offering in this review.

TROYPOINT never recommends using a Free VPN because these services always come with a catch.

The most popular option from Proton is the free version but users will miss out on many features and capabilities when using this service.

This free option includes only one VPN connection and slower speeds than the paid versions.



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Speed is extremely important when using a VPN because we are streaming large HD media files.  Slow download speed equals horrible buffering.

Proton has numerous pricing options with various provided features which we will discuss below.

We have also tested ProtonVPN’s speed and compared it with our preferred VPN Provider, IPVanish.

ProtonVPN is a subsidiary of ProtonMail which is a popular anonymous e-mail provider that we recommend.

We include ProtonMail in our comprehensive guide below:

How to Create an Anonymous E-Mail Account

protonvpn review highlights

ProtonVPN Highlights

  • Free for various uses
  • Zero Log Policy
  • Easy to use VPN apps for, Android, Windows, macOS, and Linux
  • Up to 10 simultaneous connections with one account (Premium version only)
  • Over 1,200 VPN servers in 55 countries across the world
  • Fast download speeds
  • Security on public Wi-Fi networks
  • Kill Switch available
  • Split Tunneling available
  • Compatible with popular Streaming APKs
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Customer Support
  • Accepts Credit Card, PayPal, and Bitcoin

ProtonVPN App

proton app

ProtonVPN has an easy-to-install app that is available on numerous devices including PC, Android, macOS, and Linux.

You can also find applications for streaming devices including Android TV Box via the Google Play Store.

IMPORTANT NOTE: ProtonVPN is currently not available within the Amazon App Store.

Instead, users must sideload the application for use on Firestick and Fire TV devices (instructions below).

This is a deal-breaker for millions of cord-cutters who use this device for streaming.

The Amazon Firestick is the most popular streaming device available today.

This is likely due to its low price point and “jailbreaking” capabilities.

How to Jailbreak a Firestick

When we “jailbreak” a Firestick, we are installing apps that are not available within a verified app store such as the Amazon App Store.

Therefore, a VPN is highly recommended to ensure your data is encrypted and protected from these 3rd party app developers.

TROYPOINT always recommends IPVanish because of its optimized application specifically designed for the Fire TV Stick and Fire TV.

Below are screenshots of the ProtonVPN application on a Windows PC:

Save on VPN

ProtonVPN Free

Prior to diving more into this ProtonVPN Review, it’s important to understand what a VPN is and why you likely need one.

Many use VPN applications on their favorite device including Firestick, Android, iPhone, and more.

Using a VPN will make it impossible for your Internet service provider (ISP), hackers, app/addon developers, site operators, and other organizations from monitoring your online activity.

Prior to diving more into this ProtonVPN Review, it's important to understand what a VPN is and why you likely need one.

A VPN will encrypt your connection to the Internet and create an anonymous connection through a masked IP address, which will hide your identity and activity.

Using a VPN may actually increase your streaming speeds because some Internet providers impose throttling methods for various Streaming Apps and websites.

However, most will see a decline in download speeds when connected to a VPN.

Using a VPN such as Proton is a must for Kodi users who prefer to stream with various Kodi Addons and Kodi Builds.

IMPORTANT NOTE : ProtonVPN is listed as a Non-Cooperative VPN Provider by Real-Debrid.

Using real-debrid with streaming apps and APK’s is strongly suggested and this may steer cord-cutters away from Proton.

If you prefer to use Torrent Websites to watch/download streams, you must ensure you are connected to a VPN to protect your privacy.

ISP's and more are cracking down on torrent website visitors who download content via the internet.

ISP’s and more are cracking down on torrent website visitors who download content via the internet.

A recent example of this involved the popular site YTS:

YTS Torrent Site Handing Over User Data to Authorities.

NOTE: The Free version of Proton does not include P2P/BitTorrent support. However, you can access this feature with a paid subscription.

Another reason to use a VPN on your devices is to avoid “geo-blocking” in various parts of the country and the world.

This is often referred to as “unblocking websites” which is very popular among users of Netflix, YouTube, and sports fans who are often geo-restricted in certain locations.

Unfortunately, ProtonVPN only provides 3 countries for server options when using the Free version.

Unfortunately, ProtonVPN only provides 3 countries for server options when using the Free version.

Currently, the locations available include:

  • United States
  • Netherlands
  • Japan

If using the ProtonVPN APK version on Firestick/Fire TV, you will find there are only five available servers within the US that you can connect to.

If using the ProtonVPN APK version on Firestick/Fire TV, you will find there are only five available servers within the US that you can connect to.

This means users who are trying to “unblock websites” can only access these locations with their VPN connection.

One other item of importance is the number of connections you can establish with your VPN.

Proton only allows for one connection at a time with the Free option and up to 10 with their Premium “Visionary” package.

protonvpn review number of connections

In order to install and use ProtonVPN, even for Free, users must create a Proton account.

We show you how to create a Proton account below.

ProtonVPN Pros and Cons

proton pros and cons

Prior to going into the details of this review, let’s get a quick overview and evaluate the pros and cons of ProtonVPN.

What We Like

  • Less known VPN service – This will help avoid blocks by ISPs and major streaming services
  • Zero Log Policy
  • 4 package/pricing options to choose from
  • Unblocks Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime, Facebook and other services (Not available with Free or Basic Package)
  • 30 Day money-back guarantee
  • Kill Switch available
  • Accepts Bitcoin for payment

What We Don’t Like

  • Not Compatible with Firestick/Fire TV
  • One Device Support (Free Version)
  • Not Compatible with Real-Debrid
  • No P2P/BitTorrent Support with Free Version
  • Can’t select specific server within designated location
  • Limited to 3 locations with Free version
  • No option to change VPN Protocols
  • Fewer servers compared to other VPN providers
  • Slower VPN speeds when compared to IPVanish
  • Customer support via support ticket only
  • Must register for an account even for the Free version
  • High price for paid plans

ProtonVPN Review – Pricing

Price is always one of the most important factors when choosing a VPN service.

Besides the Free Version, Proton offers 3 other subscription options that vary in price.

These prices are listed in euro which we estimate in US dollars.

Currently, the four subscription options available include:

protonvpn pricing

ProtonVPN Free Plan

  • Free with registration
  • 1 VPN Connection
  • Servers in 3 Countries

Basic Plan

  • Approx. $5/month
  • 2 VPN Connections
  • Servers in 55 Countries
  • P2P/BitTorrent support
  • Includes NetShield Adblocker

Plus Plan

  • Approx. $10/month
  • 5 VPN Connections
  • Servers in 55 Countries
  • P2P/BitTorrent support
  • Includes NetShield Adblocker
  • Unblock Websites/Apps

Visionary Plan

  • Approx. $30/month
  • 10 VPN Connections
  • Servers in 55 Countries
  • P2P/BitTorrent support
  • Includes NetShield Adblocker
  • Unblock Websites/Apps
  • Includes ProtonMail Visionary account

As you can see, when compared to paid versions, Proton’s free services are minimal.

When comparing to other VPN Services such as IPVanish, ProtonVPN carries a heavier price tag.

Plus, these Providers have tons of features that users cannot find within Proton including Unlimited Device Connections at the same time.

We will dive more into this comparison below.

ProtonVPN on Firestick

In order to install ProtonVPN on Firestick, we will sideload the app via Aptoide.

After installation, we can launch the app to sign into our account.

1. Click Sign In

click sign in

2. You will then encounter verification code screen. Write down or remember this code

write down or remember code

3. Visit protonvpn.com/tv on any browser and enter your verification code from previous screen


4. You can then return to the ProtonVPN App on your Firestick to connect to a VPN Server. When prompted, click OK

click ok

5. You will now see your VPN connection is complete

vpn connection complete

ProtonVPN Review – Speed Tests

Speed is arguably the most important feature to consider when comparing VPN providers.

No matter which VPN service you use, you will experience a slight drop in download speeds because your traffic is routed through a separate VPN server and your connection is encrypted.

No matter which VPN service you use, you will experience a slight drop in download speeds because your traffic is routed through a separate VPN server and your connection is encrypted.

This is important when using Streaming Apps and IPTV Services on your device, as download speeds play a huge factor in buffering and playback.

We conducted several speed tests for our ProtonVPN review to see where this VPN ranks among the other popular services like IPVanish VPN.

We conducted several speed tests for our ProtonVPN review

Below you will find speed test results on a Firestick and Windows PC.

Although there are hundreds of Internet speed tools available, for this example I am using the Analiti Speed Test app on the Firestick, and our TROYPOINT Speed Test tool on Windows PC.

Analiti is available on Firestick/Android devices which you can install through both Amazon App Store and Google Play.

For our tests on PC, we used the TROYPOINT Speed Test.

The following speed test was conducted on 100 Mbps max Internet plan.   

Wireless tests were conducted through ASUS AC3100 Router which is approximately 20 feet away from the device.

Firestick VPN Speed Tests

After installing the ProtonVPN APK on our Firestick, we ran a few speed tests for comparison purposes.

As mentioned previously, we used Analitit Speed Test and also connected to the free server located within the USA by default.

ProtonVPN Free US Server

Wi-Fi: 6 Mbps down & 2 Mbps up

If you’re trying to stream video, you will have buffering problems with this slow connection.

IPVanish VPN Chicago Server

Wi-Fi: 65 Mbps down & 17 Mbps up

Next, we tested ProtonVPN speeds on a Windows PC.

Windows PC VPN Speed Tests

Below are the results of our ProtonVPN Free Speed Test results on a Windows PC.

In this instance, we chose US Server within Proton’s settings which auto-connected to New York City.

We used the TROYPOINT Internet Speed Test to measure our results.

ProtonVPN Free US Server

ProtonVPN Speed Test

Wi-Fi: 13.2 Mbps down & 4.9 Mbps up

Without VPN Activated

After testing with Proton’s VPN enabled, we tried a speed test without a VPN connection to compare results:

Wi-Fi: 96.3 Mbps down & 45.0 Mbps up

As you can see from our results shown above, our internet speed is nearly 7x faster when it is not connected to ProtonVPN.

You can compare this with IPVanish at our IPVanish Review Guide below:

IPVanish Review – World’s Fastest & Most Secure VPN

ProtonVPN vs. IPVanish VPN

Many TROYPOINT visitors may be wondering where we feel StrongVPN ranks in comparison to IPVanish

Many TROYPOINT visitors will be wondering how we rank ProtonVPN in comparison to IPVanish, which has been our top recommended VPN for five years.

Proton is a suitable VPN service if you plan on using the app on only one device at a time.

Plus, with a price tag of absolutely FREE, it works well and ensures a secure connection.

However, if you are a Firestick user or cord-cutter with Real-Debrid, you may want to consider another option.

Internet Speed is a vital aspect of our everyday lives and most of us hate suffering any loss of connection speed.

Most VPNs will typically decrease your internet speed but when compared to IPVanish, Proton’s free VPN was much slower in both download and upload speeds.

IPVanish recently announced a network upgrade that improves their VPN speeds by 2.5 times which makes it the fastest VPN Service available.

IPVanish Boasts Major VPN Speed Improvement

Another great feature IPVanish VPN provides is the ability to use unlimited devices simultaneously with one account!

Many of us use up to 10 or more internet-connected devices simultaneously and Proton lacks multiple device compatibility.

Unless you want to pay $30/month for Ten Device connections (Visionary Plan), IPVanish is the better choice for unlimited connections at once.

You can use their service on as many gadgets as you would like.

IPVanish also has a special offer that will provide you with all of IPVanish’s features for about the same price as Proton’s basic package.


Use IPVanish on unlimited devices & when away from home.

IPVanish backs their service with a 30-day money back guarantee.  


This includes:

  • Unlimited connections with one account
  • Unblocks Netflix, YouTube, and other services
  • Cooperative with Real-Debrid and other debrid services
  • Easy to install apps for all of the popular devices (Including Firestick)
  • Over 1,600 VPN servers in 75 countries across the world
  • Over 40,000 encrypted IP addresses to choose from
  • Blazing fast download speeds worldwide
  • and more

It’s important to point out that some VPNs perform better than others based on network setup, Internet service provider, etc.

While ProtonVPN does have a useful customer support function, it is only via Support Ticket at their website:

ProtonVPN Support

IPVanish offers 24/7 support through their Website if you have questions about your account, billing, or need technical support.

You will notice a Help button on the bottom of the IPVanish VPN Website for live chat. Customer support via email is also available.

Both ProtonVPN and IPVanish offer a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try both and have the option for a refund if one doesn’t work properly.

For our full IPVanish VPN review where we analyze speeds, features, settings, pricing, and more, click the link below.


IPVanish VPN Official Website

ProtonVPN Review – Final Verdict

In conclusion, ProtonVPN is a well-known VPN Company and is trusted by thousands of people worldwide.

It works great for many users who just want to secure their connection when connecting to the internet one device at a time.

However, it lacks major features that other Services such as IPVanish provide.

For our overall ProtonVPN Review, TROYPOINT gives this VPN service 3.2/5 stars.

3.2 out of 5 Stars

Our Score


ProtonVPN Review FAQ

Is ProtonVPN really free?

ProtonVPN has numerous package options including a free plan that requires registration.

Is ProtonVPN trustworthy?

Yes. ProtonVPN is a trustworthy providers used by thousands.

Is ProtonVPN good for Netflix?

ProtonVPN has the ability to unblock certain websites and apps with its premium paid version.

Is ProtonVPN better than IPVanish?

In our comparison we found IPVanish to be a higher quality VPN service.

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